Scott Hanselman

Microsoft Build 2020 registration is not only open, it's FREE, it's LIVE, it's VIRTUAL, and it is all FOR YOU

April 30, '20 Comments [48] Posted in Win10
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Register for Microsoft BUILDMicrosoft Build 2020 is upon us, registration is open NOW. Stop reading this blog post and go register. I'll wait here.

Done? Sweet.

It's not the Build we thought it would be, but it's gonna be special. It's BUILD. Marketing says not to use ALL CAPS because it's Microsoft Build for them. For me, it's BUILD. It's BUILD at HOME. It's BUILD for YOU. It's BUILD for US. It's VIRTUAL BUILD.

A ton of folks are working hard to make Microsoft Build 2020 something special when it kinda feels like there's not a lot of special stuff happening.

It needs to be about humans as much as tech. More than tech. We build (BUILD!) stuff for each other - that's the whole point and sometimes it takes a situation like the one we're in to be reminded of that.

What are we building for you this year?

Microsoft Build 2020 will be 48 hours starting May 19th at 8am Pacific Time with Satya himself! Then - scandalously - I'm doing the opening keynote with some of my favorite people and wonderful colleagues who will join me in a parade of demos, technical context, continuous learning, innovation, and I'm sure my children will interrupt me even though the calendar is clearly marked BUILD (note the brand-violating ALL CAPS) because "do not disturb" means nothing these days! :)

Starting the 19th we'll kick off...

  • 48 hours of continuous learning
    • There's a TON of LIVE content and everything will be recorded so if you miss something LIVE you can catch up on YOUR schedule.
  • We are in your timezone
    • o    We’re bringing the experts to you – in your time zone! We'll do sessions 3 times (spread out every 8 hours) so you can spend time with the devs and PMs that build the stuff you use every day. No need to stay up until 2am, we'll do it for you. (Don't worry, we'll take the week off after! We're doing this because we love it.)
  • Enhance your learning with LIVE sessions - We'll have shorter and more LIVE sessions and then
    • Those starter sessions then will have longer recorded on-demand sessions to explore after the event. It's Netfl*x for Nerds.
  • Live Q&A with experts
    • Be sure to register (don't be anonymous) so you can do LIVE Q&A with the folks in the know
  • Community connections
    • Sometimes the best track at a conference is the Hallway Track and we want you to spend time with like-minded people in a positive environment so we'll have ways for you to self-organize and step into your own space to share and learn.
  • Registering for the event is your all access pass to all sessions
  • If you're a teacher, we'll even have content for your student and new learners!
  • 48 hour workshops with Build on Twitch
    • For a change of pace and style, we'll have your favorite Live Coders doing long form workshops (1-3 hours) LIVE on Twitch.

Whether you've got 30 min, an hour, or you've cleared your schedule and stay up for a few days with us, I know you'll have a great time. Microsoft Build 2020 will be unlike anything *I've* ever be involved in. I'm working hard with my friends to put together an unprecedented Developer Keynote for an unprecedented situation. Better yet, I get to be the opening act for ScottGu (look Ma, I made it), Rajesh Jha, and other Microsoft luminaries far above my pay grade.

I'm really proud of what we're working on and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all. You're still reading? Nice. Go register for Microsoft Build 2020 and leave a comment below on what you want to see from us!


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Review: Logitech MX keyboard and mouse - MX Keys and MX Master 3

April 28, '20 Comments [18] Posted in Reviews
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Logitech makes some beautiful keyboards and mice. Frankly, for me there's just Logitech and Microsoft in the keyboard and mouse game. I've never been a big fan of mechanical keyboards. I like a soft touch and a clear soft key throw.

I've gone back and forth between Microsoft classic keyboards like the Ergo 4000, but for Mice, I've been Team Logitech for YEARS. The MX Master Vertical is a fantastic product. Rock solid, long battery life, great vertical ergonomics, and USB-C to recharge batteries that last over two months. Lovely.

NOTE: Logitech recently give me their latest MX Master series - Keys, Palm Rest, and the 3rd gen MX Master 3 Mouse to review. As is with all the rare times a company sends products for review, I donate the gifted products to a local charter school. If I truly like the product, I will - and do - purchase the products directly with my own money.

Logitech MX Master Mouse

These are premium devices and they have a weight to them that was surprising. I don't mean weight like heavy, more like substantial. The keyboard is about 2 lbs which means it doesn't feel cheap and it'll stay put, but it's not an unruly weight.

The MX Master 3 mouse is 10 ounces and pushes smoothly. I have long ago standardized on the Wow!Pad Graphite Gaming Pad as it's cheap and lasts forever and the MX glides nicely on it with minimal friction. The scroll wheel - they call it magspeed - uses electromagnets and can switch between the clicky ratchet tactile scroll and a disturbingly smooth frictionless scroll. It's a click to switch between them. I like Ratchet for code and Smooth for long form reading. There's a center scroll and clever configurable thumb-scroller.

The mouse is multi-OS and supports Bluetooth, natch, but also the long time Logitech Universal Receiver standard. If you already have a Logitech receiver, adding a new device is trivial.

Logitech MX Master Series

Logitech MX Keys

Let me gush about this keyboard for a second. It's got substance. I don't like a cheap plasticky feel and the MX Keys has a solidity to it, a concreteness that you kinda have to feel to appreciate. It's nearly 2 lbs and I like that. This isn't a cheap keyboard and it doesn't feel cheap. I also expect a keyboard that costs $100 to last for YEARS. I feel this will.

I noticed that the "Windows Key" isn't a Windows key. This is a non-denominational keyboard that loves everyone and every OS. In fact, their Logitech Options (optional) software can even let you move from machine to machine in the same room, copy paste across operating systems, and move the mouse from screen to screen quite happily. So if you, like me, appreciate more than one operating system you'll also appreciate that little detail.

The MX keys basically assumes that you're a multi-computer office and has three dedicated keys to that fact. It, too, charges on USB-C quickly and easily and I just keep a cable around to top off the keyboard and mouse on the rare occasions they need the topping up.

As a touch typist I didn't think I'd care about illuminated keys but it's a lovely accenting touch adds something.

Logitech MX Keys

Frankly my only complaint is that this isn't an ergonomic or split keyboard. If they could just pop it into two pieces that would angle off to either side, it'd be the perfect keyboard. I added the palm rest but it doesn't attach to the keyboard, it is a secondary "along for the ride" floating accessory.

The keys have convex dips that feel nice and your fingers comfortably slip into them. The throw is shallow, more than a laptop, less than a Microsoft Ergo keyboard. The throw is similar to the Microsoft Surface keyboard line, but a bit crisper. They keys are soft and low-profile and sharp, never squishy.

Software

Logitech Options Software is clear and easy to use, unified across the product line and allows you to easily mix and match your new mouse with your old keyboard, or vice versa. Everything can be remapped and customized.

The optional Logitech Flow is similar to long time OSS options like Synergy but takes it to the next level with file-sharing. If you have two or three machines in your office that you regularly need to control (especially if you're mixing Windows and Mac) this may be the perfect keyboard+software solution for you.

Logitech Options Software

I'm very happy with this keyboard and mouse and I'm sold on the mouse already. I'm going to give it another month before I decide to purchase the keyboard. Both are excellent high-end products that you won't go wrong with. Again, the only caveat with the keyboard is that it's not ergo, but that's up to your taste.

The MX Mouse isn't vertical but it's extremely comfortable. If you prefer a right-handed ergo MX option, the MX Vertical Mouse is amazing and long ago replaced my Anker Vertical Mouse. In a word, Logitech's mice are unstoppable.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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CoreBoy is a cross platform GameBoy Emulator written in C# that even does ASCII

April 23, '20 Comments [11] Posted in DotNetCore | Gaming | Open Source
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.NET and C# are great languages for programming emulators. Specifically retrogaming and retroarcade emulators. In fact, there's a long history of emulators written in C#. Here's just a few.

Today, David Whitney is deep into writing CoreBoy, a GameBoy Emulator written in C# and .NET Core, using WinForms, and I also spy the Avalonia cross-platform open source WPF-like framework. Head over to https://github.com/davidwhitney/CoreBoy and give the gent a STAR. It even has a headless mode and you could use it as a Library in your own software. Who doesn't want a GameBoy library in their app?

I cloned and built it with http://dot.net Core in just a few minutes. Lovely. I enjoy a clean codebase. Assuming you have a backup of one of the many physical GameBoy games you own like me, you can load a binary dump in CoreBoy as a *.gb or *.gbc file and you'll get something this:

CoreBoy - Zelda Link's Awakening

image

Sweet! Sure it's a little buggy and slow but figuring these things out is the fun of it all! I love that David Whitney is taking us on this journey with him.

There's even already a MonoGame-based graphics surface using DesktopGL and "nilllzz" has it running on Ubuntu!

GameBoy Emulator in C# running on Ubuntu using MonoGame

Emulators are always fun projects to read and learn from. Here, David has a clear separation of concerns between the emulator (handling the CPU, loading instructions, etc.) and the graphics surface that is ultimately responsible for putting pixels on screen.

It looks like he hasn't got it working yet (some issues with command line parsing), but in a few minutes with a little hard-coding I was able to switch to ASCII mode with David's SillyAsciiArtCreator that takes a Pixel and RGB value and maps it to ASCII art that looks awesome in the Windows Terminal.

Zelda in a GameBoy Emulator as ASCII Art

Which is kind of awesome. Why would you do this? BECAUSE YOU CAN

Zelda in a GameBoy Emulator as ASCII Art

I look forward to seeing what comes of this cool new emulator and I'll be reading its code in more detail in the weeks to come! Great stuff, David!


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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How to Remote Desktop (RDP) into a Windows 10 Azure AD joined machine

April 21, '20 Comments [14] Posted in Win10
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Since everyone started working remotely, I've personally needed to Remote Desktop into more computers lately than ever before. More this week than in the previous decade.

I wrote recently about to How to remote desktop fullscreen RDP with just SOME of your multiple monitors which is super useful if you have, say, 3 monitors, and you only want to use 2 and 3 for Remote Desktop and reserve #1 for your local machine, email, etc.

IMHO, the Remote Desktop Connection app is woefully old and kinda Windows XP-like in its style.

Remote Desktop Connection

There is a Windows Store Remote Desktop app at https://aka.ms/urdc and even a Remote Desktop Assistant at https://aka.ms/RDSetup that can help set up older machines (earlier than Windows 10 version 1709 (I had no idea this existed!)

The Windows Store version is nicer looking and more modern, but I can't figure out how to get it to Remote into an Azure Active Directory (AzureAD) joined computer. I don't see if it's even possible with the Windows Store app. Let me know if you know how!

Windows Desktop Store App

So, back to the old Remote Desktop Connection app. Turns out for whatever reason, you need to save the RDP file and open it in a text editor.

Add these two lines at the end (three if you want to save your username, then include the first line there)

username:s:.\AzureAD\YOURNAME@YOURDOMAIN.com
enablecredsspsupport:i:0
authentication level:i:2

Note that you have to use the style .\AzureAD\email@domain.com

The leading .\AzureAD\ is needed - that was the magic in front of my email for login. Then enablecredsspsupport along with authentication level 2 (settings that aren't exposed in the UI) was the final missing piece.

Add those two lines to the RDP text file and then open it with Remote Desktop Connection and you're set! Again, make sure you have the email prefix.

The Future?

Given that the client is smart enough to show an error from the remote machine that it's Azure AD enabled, IMHO this should Just Work.

More over, so should the Microsoft Store Remote Desktop client. It's beyond time for a refresh of these apps.

NOTE: Oddly there is another app called the Windows Desktop Client that does some of these things, but not others. It allows you to access machines your administrators have given you access to but doesn't allow you (a Dev or Prosumer) to connect to arbitrary machine. So it's not useful to me.
Windows Virtual Desktop

There needs to be one Ultimate Remote Windows Desktop Client that lets me connect to all flavors of Windows machines from anywhere, is smart about DPI and 4k monitors, remotes my audio optionally, and works for everything from AzureAD to old school Domains.

Between these three apps there's a Venn Diagram of functionality but there's nothing with the Union of them all. Yet.

Until then, I'm editing RDP files which is a bummer, but I'm unblocked, which is awesome.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Quarantine work is not Remote work

April 16, '20 Comments [24] Posted in Musings | Remote Work
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Empty streets by clindhartsen used under CCIt's hard. Now, to be clear, if you're working at all in these times, you're very fortunate. I am very fortunate to have a job that lets me work from home. Many of my coworkers, friends, and colleagues have been thrown into remote work - some in a frantic "get your laptop and you're now working from home" moment.

I have written a lot about Remote Work and done a number of podcasts on the topic. I've been working from my home now, full time, for 13 years. It's fair to say that I am an experienced Remote Worker if not an expert.

If you're new to Remote Work and you're feeling some kind of way, I want to say this as an expert in remote working - This thing we are doing now isn't remote work.

Quarantine work !== Remote work

Know that and absorb that and know that you're OK and this thing you're feeling - wow, Remote Works SUCKS! - is normal. You're not alone.

Just look at the replies to this tweet:

People are overwhelmed, afraid, and stressed. There's a background pressure - a psychic weight or stress - that is different in these times. This isn't a problem you can fix with a new webcam or a podcasting mic.

Working from home feels freeing and empowering. Working while quarantined is a luxurious prison.

I've got two kids at home suddenly, one who's had their last year before high school cut short and now we struggle as a couple to work our jobs AND educate the kids in an attempt to create some sense of normalcy and continuity. I applaud the single parents and folks trying to work outside the home AND take care of little ones in these times.

We also feel the guilt of working from home at all. We appreciate the front line workers (my wife is a nurse, my brother a firefighter) who don't have this luxury. The garbagemen and women, the grocery store stockers, truck drivers, food processors, and farmers. We do our best to be thankful for their work while still getting our own jobs done.

What's the point of this post? To remind you, the new remote worker, that this isn't normal. This isn't really representative of remote work. Hang in there, things will hopefully go back to some kind of normal and if we're lucky, perhaps you and I will be able to try out remote working and feel ok about it.

Here's some more resources. Be safe.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.